Ranking Member's Press

04.30.14

Democratic Senate and House Leaders Request GAO Study on Inclusion of Women in NIH-Supported Clinical Trials

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Democratic Senate and House leaders today wrote to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro requesting a study on the inclusion of women in NIH-supported clinical trials to look at whether the level of participation is sufficient for researchers to provide meaningful results on the applicability of research findings to women and whether the results are being made public. The letter was sent by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health,… Continue Reading


04.29.14

Senate HELP Committee Chairman Harkin Opens Senate Debate on Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $10.10

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today opened Senate floor debate on the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, a bill he introduced to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in three steps, then provide for automatic, annual increases linked to changes in the cost of living. It would also gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, which currently stands at just $2.13 an hour, to 70 percent of the … Continue Reading


04.29.14

PHOTO: Ahead of Confirmation Hearing, Harkin Meets With Secretary of Health and Human Services-Designate Sylvia Mathews Burwell

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Ahead of a confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) today met with Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who has been nominated to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). "Sylvia Mathews Burwell has proven herself as a strong and effective manager in her current role as Director of the Office of Management and Budget and I know she has the experience necessary to continue the g… Continue Reading


04.28.14

Harkin Statement on Senate Approval of David Weil to Serve as Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate approved David Weil to serve as the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor. Weil was approved by the Senate HELP Committee in January 2014. "The Wage and Hour Division is a relatively unknown agency, but it plays a huge role in how Americans experience their day-to-day working lives… Continue Reading


04.24.14

Harkin: It’s About Time for FDA Action on E-Cigarettes

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its proposed "deeming regulations" for a range of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, bringing the products under the agency's tobacco control authority. Harkin chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which has oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "The passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and … Continue Reading


04.23.14

Senators Harkin, Warren, Durbin and Congressman Miller Call on Education Dept. to Prohibit Harmful Banking Practices Targeting College Campuses

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Congressman George Miller (D-CA), and colleagues in the House and Senate in sending a bicameral letter to Secretary Arne Duncan of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in support of changes to Title IV's cash management rules, which are currently under revision. The letter urges ED to protect st… Continue Reading


04.23.14

Harkin Praises New Protections for Coal Miners to Prevent Black Lung Disease

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement applauding a U.S. Department of Labor announcement of new protections for coal miners. "Today is an historic day for America's hardworking coal miners. With these new protections, they will no longer have to go to work living in fear that they will one day get sick and suffer from black lung disease," Harkin said. "From my own experi… Continue Reading


04.17.14

Harkin: Today’s Enrollment Numbers Show the Affordable Care Act is Working

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement on the news that eight million Americans have enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage through the federal and state Marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As Chairman of the HELP Committee, Harkin played a pivotal role in the passage of the ACA. "Today's enrollment numbers add to a growing list of evidence … Continue Reading


04.14.14

Harkin, Durbin, Waxman, Rockefeller & Members of Congress: Report Shows E-Cigarette Marketing Campaigns Lighting Up Among Young Users

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Eleven Democratic lawmakers from the Senate and the House of Representatives today released a report that shows a dramatic recent increase in the marketing of electronic cigarettes-or e-cigarettes-with extensive resources being dedicated to social media, sponsorship of youth-oriented events, and television and radio advertisements that reach substantial youth audiences. The report, "Gateway to Addiction? A Survey of Popular Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers and Marketing to You… Continue Reading


04.11.14

Harkin Statement on the Resignation of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

WASHINGTON, D.C-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS subcommittee), today issued the following statement on the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "As Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius has served the Administration and our nation with distinction, overseeing an hi… Continue Reading


04.10.14

With Abuse and Overdose Rates at an All-Time High, Harkin and Alexander Announce the HELP Committee Prescription Drug Abuse Working Group

WASHINGTON, D.C. - With prescription drug overdose death rates in the United States more than tripling since 1990 and prescription opioid abuse an ever-growing problem, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced the establishment of the HELP Committee Prescription Drug Abuse Working Group. The bipartisan staff Working Group will examine the characteristics and challenges of prescription drug… Continue Reading


04.10.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Expanding Access to Quality Early Learning: The Strong Start for America’s Children Act”

"I want to thank our witnesses for being with us today to examine the Strong Start for America's Children Act, a bill that will greatly expand access to high-quality early learning experiences for children from birth to kindergarten entry. "I introduced this bill last November along with Congressmen George Miller and Richard Hanna. Already, it has received broad support from more than a quarter of the members of both the Senate and the House. The bill enjoys bipartisan support in the House of R… Continue Reading


04.08.14

Harkin: Fair Pay, A Raise in the Minimum Wage Will Close the Wage Gap

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, delivered a speech on the Senate floor today to mark Equal Pay Day. Harkin has been a strong champion for gender equality in the workforce, co-sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act and introducing a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, which a new White House report shows would provide a significant boost to millions of American women who make up the more than … Continue Reading


04.08.14

Harkin Statement on 150th Anniversary of Gallaudet University

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today on the 150th anniversary of Gallaudet University. "Since its charter was signed by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago, Gallaudet University has been a world leader in providing higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals," Harkin said. "The Deaf President Now… Continue Reading


04.07.14

Harkin: House Must Act on Senate-Passed, Bipartisan Measure to Renew Critical Federal Unemployment Insurance for Jobseekers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement after the Senate passed the bipartisan Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Extension Act of 2014, which will restore unemployment insurance for millions of long-term unemployed Americans retroactively from January through May 2014. "Today's Senate vote to restore federal unemployment benefits is a critical step forward for millions… Continue Reading


04.07.14

Harkin, Senate Democrats Call On FTC and FDA To Protect Consumers From False Advertising Claims By E-Cigarette Makers

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote to the heads of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today, urging the agencies to take enforcement action against e-cigarette manufacturers who make unsubstantiated or false claims in their advertising, including unproven assertions that their products help smokers of conventional ciga… Continue Reading


04.04.14

Harkin: Jobs Report Underscores Continued Urgency of Renewing Federal Unemployment Insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the March employment numbers. "The jobs report today shows yet another month of job growth, with 192,000 jobs added to the economy in March. While these figures are encouraging, we know that there remain nearly 4 million workers who have been searching for a new job for at least six months. "Congress has an opportunity in the coming … Continue Reading


04.03.14

Harkin: New CDC Report Shows Alarming Spike in E-Cigarette Poisonings

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today in response to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that poison control centers reported a major spike in calls involving e-cigarette poisonings, increasing from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014. Poisoning from e-cigarettes involves the liquid containing nicotin… Continue Reading


04.03.14

Harkin, Durbin, Cummings: More Coordination Needed In Federal Oversight of For-Profit College Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)-Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee-and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation that would improve coordination between federal agencies that oversee the for-profit college industry. Through the establishment of an interagency oversight committee, the Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement Act aims to improve enforcement of federal laws and regulations, while increa… Continue Reading


04.02.14

Harkin Statement on Senate Approval of Portia Wu to Serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement after Portia Wu was approved unanimously by the Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training. Wu was approved by the Senate HELP Committee in February 2014. "As the economic recovery continues, one of the most important things we can do to support American workers is to give them the tools and resourc… Continue Reading

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